State board approves transportation chief's $146,000 salary

Buck Limehouse filled vacancy in May

COLUMBIA -- The State Budget and Control Board approved the salary of the newly hired Transportation Department executive director Tuesday.

The agency's commission chose Buck Limehouse to fill the vacant position in May, hiring him at a salary of $146,000 a year, with the Budget and Control Board giving final approval.

The board took the vote with no debate.

Limehouse filled a vacancy created in December, when former executive director Elizabeth Mabry stepped down from the post. Limehouse's salary is $175 less than what Mabry earned.

The agency has been the subject of legislative restructuring since a November Legislative Audit Council report. According to that report, the agency had spent millions on work never completed, had manipulated the amount of money in its accounts and had questionable relationships with contractors.

In addition to approving Limehouse's salary, the board also approved raising the rates to store low-level radioactive waste at a Barnwell facility.

The rates are a 15 percent increase for states not part of the three-state Atlantic Compact, which includes South Carolina, Connecticut and New Jersey. The state estimates it will collect an additional $750,000 from the rate hike.

Beginning next year, the facility will be limited to Atlantic Compact states.